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December 1987

Diagnosis of Central Vein Catheter-Related Sepsis

Author Affiliations

Canberra, Australia

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(12):2214-2216. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370120150029

To the Editor.  —It is with interest that I read the recent article by Brun-Buisson et al,1 with regard to a new method they developed for the culture of central vein catheter tips.Their rationale in introducing this method appeared to be that they felt the semiquantitative culture (SQC) technique2 (which is in common use throughout the world) is insensitive and nonspecific, and that there are problems with performing this procedure. In my experience, the SQC technique is an easy procedure to perform, and of low cost in terms of laboratory media and personnel time. We have recently completed a larger study on the use of the SQC technique in the same type of patient population as in the study of Brun-Buisson and colleagues. We found that the SQC method had comparable sensitivity and specificity to that stated for their method, if five colonies per plate were